J.J. Starbuck

Created by Stephen J. Cannell (1941-2010) "I reckon a diamond is just a hunk of coal that stuck to the job." Did someone say Texas? Just in case anyone missed the point, TV's cornpone-spouting J.J. (JEROME JEREMIAH) STARBUCK (played by Dale Robertson) wears ten-gallon hats, cowboy boots and fancy western shirts, drives a flashy limo with … Continue reading J.J. Starbuck

Clay Dakota

Created by Gilbert Ralston (1912-1999) Much like Ralph Dennis' Hardman series, it's difficult to see the six novels Gilbert Ralston wrote featuring CLAY DAKOTA, a half Piegan, half Shoshoni ex-Marine and ex-cop turned Nevada rancher, rodeo rider and private detective, as part of the 1970s Men's Adventure craze. But that's how they were marketed by … Continue reading Clay Dakota

Gabe Utley

Created by Gary Stewart "Shit. What a way to make a living. But you can't beat an uptight religious society for providing employment for parasites like me. These Mormons take their their adultery seriously." -- Gabe, on being a Salt lake City private eye. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: … Continue reading Gabe Utley

Sam Logan (The Man from Blackhawk)

Created by Herb Meadow Perhaps the only genre more popular than private eyes in television's early years was the western, so it didn't long before someone came up with the idea of combining the two. By far the most successful attempt (and one of the first) was Have Gun, Will Travel, which made it debut … Continue reading Sam Logan (The Man from Blackhawk)

Dan Roman

Created by Edward Mathis (1927-1988) "Mathis was the real thing--a fine writer with a slant and style all his own. He brought us a dusty tapped-out Texas I'd never encountered before. If he reminded me of anybody it was the proletariat novelists of the Forties and Fifties such as Harvey Swados and Clancy Sigal." -- … Continue reading Dan Roman

Ace Edwards

Created by Randy Rawls Big hat, no cattle? Or the real deal? ARTHUR CONAN EDWARDS (that's just "Ace" to his friends) has been around. He may carry his heart on his sleeve at times, but he also carries a gun in his boot. He's been a husband and a cop. But after an early retirement, … Continue reading Ace Edwards

Whispering Smith

Created by Frank H. Spearman (1859-1950) Cowboy and railroad detective GORDON "WHISPERING" SMITH first showed in in a 1906 novel by celebrated Western author Frank H. Spearman. Supposedly, Smith was modeled on real-life Union Pacific Railroad detectives Timothy Keliher and Joe Lefors (though his name was taken from another UPRR policeman, James L. "Whispering" Smith. … Continue reading Whispering Smith

Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys

Contemporary Cowboy Eyes Sometimes an eye's just gotta do what an eye's gotta do... Clay Dakota by Gilbert Ralston Dan Roman by Edward Mathis Rafferty by W. Glenn Duncan Cody by James M. Reasoner FURTHER INVESTIGATION My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys Cowboy Eyes The Dangers of Dime Westerns From Mark Twain's "bloodthirstily interesting" favorites to first-person … Continue reading Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys

Cody

Created by James M. Reasoner (1953--) Fort Worth private eye CODY, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure, is a sort of Texan Lew Archer with a little Spenser -- and a lot of brooding -- tossed in. He's in his early forties, well-educated, and prone to contemplation and often poetic turns of … Continue reading Cody

Lucas Hallam

Created by L.J. Washburn (1957 --) Shucks. LUCAS HALLAM is an ex-Texas Ranger and honest-to-god cowboy trying to make a living as a stuntman in the Hollywood of the 1920's. But times are tough and business practices can get a mite rough in the fledgling movie industry, so ol' Luke ends up tossing his Stetson … Continue reading Lucas Hallam